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Top 10 Smartphones UK 2018

Written by  Jan 20, 2018

So, you want to buy a new smartphone? If you're looking for the best smartphones, you've come to the right place. We will guide you through the hottest mobile phones of the year to save you time when you go to your local phone shop.

We continually update this best smartphones guide to reflect recent launches, recognise price changes, and ensure 2017's latest devices appear alongside the best of 2016 (and before, if applicable). All the listed devices have been fully reviewed by us.

Of course, the most important factor in buying a new device is making sure you have the best smartphone for you. The best for your budget, the features you need, the size that feels right and platform that suits you best.

We're going to run down the best smartphones, including:

  • Apple iPhone X
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+
  • Google Pixel 2
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro
  • OnePlus 5
  • Motorola G5 Plus

and plenty more.

Our top recommendation...

Here's our recommendation for the best all round smartphone on the market, right now.

1. Apple iPhone X

iphone x

It's been some time since the iPhone has been our top smartphone recommendation, but then the iPhone X is the biggest shake-up in iPhone history. It's unashamedly premium, from the build to the price, but it comes together in a package offering a smartphone experience that's not matched elsewhere. It makes the iPhone 8 looks like a relic, it betters Android competition in the same space, as Apple makes a huge change to its flagship phone.

There's power and refinement in abundance, with quality oozing from the stainless steel frame, with a fresh new look coming from the new 19.5:9 display that banishes bezels to the last decade. It's not just the lack of bezels that are impressive about the display, but the overall quality is great too. It's HDR compatible, supports Dolby Vision and it's Apple's first OLED display on a smartphone - and it looks fantastic. You're not let down by the camera either, which offers great photos and the advantage of stabilised zoom.

For iPhone fans, it's the pinnacle of the mobile Apple experience, a complete step-change in what the iPhone is. It's a phone you can't afford ... to miss out on.

Read the full review: Apple iPhone X

2. Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+

Samsung-Galaxy-S8-1


See Samsung Galaxy S8 on Amazon UK 


Samsung has redefined its flagship handset in the Galaxy S8, offering two sizes of handset with an 18.5:9 display, losing the bezel and offering that premium dual-edge curved design. There's a long list of things that Samsung gets right in the S8: there's a pair of great cameras, the battery life is good, there's waterproofing, the latest hardware and the slickest Android of skins, fully-featured and packed full of useful functions.

The contentious point falls on the fingerprint scanner, as the location isn't optimal, but that's not a deal breaker given that the phones support iris scanning too. The real decision might just come down to how big you want your phone to be, with that taller screen meaning your phone doesn't feel huge, despite the large display. It is expensive, however.

If the price is too much to bear, the then Samsung Galaxy S7 edge comes highly recommended: it offers much of the same - great curved edge display, waterproofing, good battery life and a similar feature set and software experience.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S8

3. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

galaxy-note8


See Samsung Galaxy Note 8 on Amazon UK


This might feel like a Samsung walkover, but the Note 8 is Samsung's most capable device so far. It has enhancements over the Galaxy S8+, like the S Pen and more RAM, but that comes at a price - the Galaxy Note 8 is one of the most expensive phones on the market. For those looking for the best, and that wonderful S Pen, then it has no rival.

One of the other advantages it has over the S8+ is the dual camera on the rear. This is not only great quality, but also offers stabilised zoom for super-sharp close-ups. That's great and it works well, as does the bokeh mode that's offered, but we're not certain it's a hugely important addition compared to the solid performance of the cheaper and more compact phones.

Ultimately, Samsung fans are well served: the Note 8 is a premium device, but the additions might be things you don't necessarily need. And personally, we prefer the Galaxy S8's slightly more curvy design, as it looks a little more radical.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8

4. Google Pixel 2

Google-Pixel-2-and-Pixel-2-XL


See Google Pixel 2 on Amazon UK


The 2017 Pixel 2 models have caused a stir. The smaller handset, the Pixel 2 is a phone you need to consider carefully. It has a subdued elegance in its design, while packing in all the power of a flagship phone. It's every bit as powerful as the top phones from Samsung, LG or the larger Pixel 2 XL, but it's more compact thanks to that smaller display.

While the Pixel 2 XL display struggles, the Pixel 2 is better, and it also packs in the full potency of that clever camera and the very latest from Android Oreo. It might not be the most exciting phone around, but it could be a big hit with those wanting a small but potent handset.

5. Google Pixel XL

Google-Pixel-2-XL-1


See Google Pixel XL on Amazon UK 


Have you gone completely mad? No, you haven't. The Google Pixel XL was one of the best phones of 2016 and although it is old, it still has a lot going for it, especially because the price has been slashed to nearly half that of some of the phones on this list. You can get it for just £400.

That's a lot of phone for your money, considering that it's 2016 flagship spec, it's running the latest version of Android Oreo and it has a really good camera. This is backed up by a display that's great, if not as fancy as some of the 18:9 displays on the latest phones, but it looks good and packs in loads of detail. Remember, Google's own head Sundar Pichai said that it was less about hardware and more about machine learning and AI. Here you have the full Google Assistant too.

It might not be around for long so if you're after a great Pixel phone for a little less money, then get one while it's a bargain.

Read similar review: Google Pixel 2 XL

6. Apple iPhone 8 Plus

iphone 8 plus


See Apple iPhone 8 Plus on Amazon UK


Apple iPhone 8 Plus isn't a hugely radical change in design like the forthcoming iPhone X. Instead it's the iPhone you know and love, but better. It's now sitting in a body with a glass black, bringing a change from the iPhone 7 Plus, but it also has all the power of Apple's latest chip and runs iOS 11.

The display benefits from True Tone technology, so it adapts as the environment around you changes to keep everything looking great, while the shift in materials around the back also gives you the benefit of wireless charging. Not only that, but it now supports fast charging too, so using a more powerful charger and the right cable, you'll be back to full in no time.

It's still a big phone and it perhaps looks a little old compared to the iPhone X now, but it's still a solid performer with a great camera. Importantly, it's going to be more affordable than the iPhone X, so if you want to go big on Apple without spending all your money, this is the phone for you.

Read the full review: Apple iPhone 8 Plus 

Read similar review: Apple iPhone 8

7. OnePlus 5

oneplus-5-review


See One Plus 5 on Amazon UK


OnePlus seems to have grown up with the OnePlus 5, its most ambitious phone yet and looking to be more competitive. Great design meets powerful specs, with the latest hardware to rival top devices. The display is good, although doesn't lift itself from Full HD like some of its rivals and that's somewhat reflected in the price. It also offers no waterproofing, which is starting to become something of a trend at the top.

There's a dual camera system on the back that's causing some controversy, but you can just stick to regular shooting and not get involved with any of that and still get great results. Of course one of the killer features of this phone is Dash Charge to make sure you're up and running in no time and oh, that it's still some £200 cheaper than most of its rivals.

Read the full review: OnePlus 5

8. Google Pixel 2 XL

Google-Pixel-2-and-Pixel-2-XL


See the Google Pixel 2 XL Cases on Amazon UK


It might seem controversial to have the Pixel 2 XL drifting down this list, but for a phone that's all about the display, it doesn't have a very nice display. Google say this is due to it being tuned for realism, but that realism doesn't even let you see the excellent photos you take with the great camera on the back.

Aside from the display, this is a powerful phone, running the latest that Oreo has to offer and a lot of smart stuff thrown in too. The design perhaps doesn't make as radical use of space as other 18:9 phones, but there's no lack of performance.

Still, some may fall for its charms, of which there are many and this will likely remain a controversial device. Google has suggested it might look at changing the display performance, however, which would see it gain favour against other devices on this list.

Read the full review: Google Pixel 2 XL

9. Motorola Moto G5 Plus

moto-g5-plus-4


See the Motorola Moto G5 Plus on Amazon UK 


The Moto G shocked the smartphone world when it launched: so much phone for so little money. The Moto G still dominates this end of the market, bringing features and experiences with a level of quality that many at this level lack. The Moto G5 Plus gives you a lot of phone for your money, with great build, finish and features.

The price is creeping up however, seeing this Plus model now sell for over £200. We'd still say that this is the best in this class of device, however, and if you can't spend too much on a phone, the Moto G5 Plus does it without feeling budget.

Read similar review: Motorola Moto G5S Plus Review

10. Huawei P10 and P10 Plus

huawei-p10-plus


See the Huawei P10 on Amazon UK 


The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are the latest flagship smartphones to appear from the Chinese manufacturer, with the P10 Plus being our favourite of the two. The larger device is one of the best looking smartphones to come from Huawei to date, while also offering a great battery life, capable dual cameras, plenty of power and storage and mature EMUI software.

The P10 will be the better option for those that want a smaller device, but the P10 Plus is certainly right up there in terms of Android devices. It isn't perfect, with the screen's finish picking up fingerprints and the camera software not always excellent, but the P10 Plus is a solid example of a 5.5-inch smartphone.

Read the full review: Huawei P10 and Huawei P10 Plus

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